You may not eat while you are asleep, but the bacteria in your mouth are still active. That means your evening oral care routine may be the most important of all when it comes to avoiding cavities or gum disease. Rather than losing sleep over the prospect of plaque and tarter festering while you drift off to slumberland, apply these suggestions to keep your mouth healthy.
Brush and Floss Before Sleep – Any food particles that are left on or around your teeth and gums need to be removed. Even if you already brushed after dinner, it’s still a good idea to do it again before eight hours of inactivity. Flossing is vital as well, especially if you do not floss every time you brush. This will make sure that no food particles get to stay between your teeth overnight. It will also help to prevent tartar from building up below the gumline.
Use a Good Technique – Of course, brushing and flossing before bed will only work if you use the proper technique. Cursory oral care before bed can lead to some surfaces still having plaque in place. It takes plaque a while to harden into tartar, but eight hours is longer than you should risk. If you struggle with using a circular motion while brushing, you may want to consider an electric toothbrush with a rotating head.
Use Mouthwash – A good mouth rinse does more than just make your breath smell nice. Some mouthwashes have ingredients that are intended for the strengthening of teeth. Others may be designed to fight off various forms of bacteria that are often found in the mouth. Of course, your standard bottle of mouthwash may not have any of those benefits. If you want your mouthwash to be more than the equivalent of a liquid Tic-Tac, you may want to ask your dentist for a recommendation.
Regular Checkups Are Vital
While you don’t go to the dentist at night, this is still a vital part of your oral care routine. After all, no matter how good you are at brushing and flossing, there will still be some plaque and tarter buildup. Once tartar develops, brushing and flossing alone can’t remove it. Your nighttime routine will help to maintain your oral health between visits, but be sure to schedule your checkup and cleaning every six months or however often your dentist recommends.